Rep. Christopher Lee is a married Republican congressman serving the 26th District of New York. But when he trolls Craigslist’s “Women Seeking Men” forum, he’s Christopher Lee, divorced “lobbyist” and “fit fun classy guy.” One object of his flirtation told us her story.
keywords: origin=gawker, visited=jalopnikfront, visited=deadspinfront, visited=io9front, visited=gawkerfront On the morning of Friday, January 14, a single 34-year-old woman put an ad in the “Women for Men” section of Craigslist personals. “Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?” she asked, inviting “financially & emotionally secure” men to reply.
That afternoon, a man named Christopher Lee replied. He used a Gmail account that Rep. Christopher Lee has since confirmed to be his own. (It’s the same Gmail account that was associated with Lee’s personal Facebook account, which the Congressman deleted when we started asking questions.)
By email, Lee identified himself as a 39-year-old lobbyist and sent a PG picture to the woman from the ad:
Lee’s Craigslist correspondent—a government employee from Maryland who asked not to be identified—liked what she saw. She replied flirtatiously. He replied with a PG-13 muscle picture.
By modern day standards, the conversation was relatively banal: No prostitutes, escorts, or madams were involved. Just good old fashioned lying and an apparent willingness to cheat on one’s wife:
The woman says she cut off contact when she searched for Lee online and concluded he’d lied about his age and occupation. Then she forwarded us the correspondence.
Yesterday, we reached out to Rep. Lee, whose support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and vote to reject federal abortion funding suggests a certain comfort with publicly scrutinizing others’ sex lives.
A spokesman for the Congressman confirmed that the email address belonged to Lee, and that he had deleted his Facebook account because our initial inquiry had him fretting about “privacy.” (A screenshot of his account before it vanished is at right.)
So did the married Republican prowl Craiglist looking for hook ups? After first telling us that he couldn’t comment until we forwarded every single email in question, a request we refused—shouldn’t Lee know if he’s corresponded with women on Craigslist?—Lee’s spokesman eventually announced that the Congressman believed he’d been hacked, and provided an email he claims Lee sent to his staff about the security breach on January 21.
That could, theoretically, be true. But the evidence suggests otherwise. The emails were sent more than a week before the alleged hack. The shirtless photo—which, according to metadata contained in the picture, was taken in Washington, D.C.—-was taken with a Blackberry, the same mobile device that Lee uses, which means the hacker would have also had to access the photos on Lee’s phone. Finally, if someone had hacked into his account and was seeking to discredit the politician, why shoot in the dark with such relatively benign emails to a totally random middle-aged woman on Craigslist, who didn’t seem motivated one way or the other to us, beyond wanting to share a funny story? And funny it is.
“The Congressman is happily married,” said Lee’s spokesman when pressed for answers to our questions. “The only time he or his wife posted something online was to sell old furniture when they changed the apartment they keep in DC.”
This post was reprinted with permission from Gawker.